New World Bank Group MD Addresses Arab Economic Cooperation

Mahmoud Mohielden, Managing Director of the World Bank Group since October, visited Yemen for exploratory talks about how collaboration across the Arab world can help the agenda of this developing nation between the Red and Arabian seas.

On his appointment to the World Bank, Mohieldin was appointed among other responsibilities the institution’s leader on the Arab World Initiative, a World Bank approach to the countries of the Arab League to find opportunity and advantage in economic integration and knowledge sharing across the Arab World.

He was accompanied on his 2-day visit by Merza Hasan, World Bank Executive Director, Shamshad Akhtar, World Bank Regional Vice President for the Middle East and North Africa and David Craig Country Director for Djibouti, Egypt and Yemen.

“We are mindful of Yemen’s challenges and I came here to consider how best we could be effective as an institution in helping Yemen achieving the goals of sustainable  development and inclusive growth,” said Mohielden. “I am also convinced that in the collective wisdom and effort of Arab countries lie advantages and solutions. Together, we can embrace those and our role at the World Bank is to figure out with Arab nations how we can be helpful, especially in the areas of human development, infrastructure and financial and private sector development”, he added.

This was Mohielden’s first visit to Yemen as Bank Managing Director and he met the Yemeni government at its highest levels, including the Prime Minister, Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Planning and International Cooperation, ministers responsible for finance, health, education, social and legal affairs, transport and the Investment Authority. He and his delegation also met representatives of the donor community, leaders of various interest groups, such as Members of Parliament, the private sector, non-governmental organizations, academia and the media. Mohielden’s trip focused on building an understanding of the economic and social development issues and challenges faced by Yemenis.

Prior to joining the World Bank, Mohielden served as the Egyptian Minister of Investment since 2004. In Egypt he designed and led a comprehensive structural and regulatory reform program to modernize and liberalize the country’s economy in three critical areas – leveraging private investment for growth and job creation; enhancing access to non-bank financial services; and implementing a successful asset management program of public enterprises.

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